7 dicembre 2021, 00:30 CET
Haze FanSource: Twitter
Haze Fan, a member of Bloomberg News’s bureau in Beijing, has been detained since late last year, with no information forthcoming on her case. Fan was last seen on Monday, Dec. 7, 2020, being escorted from her apartment building by plainclothes security officials. Chinese officials said at the time that Fan was detained by the Beijing National Security Bureau on suspicion of national security law violations.
“Twelve months of detention is a long time for anybody to endure, even someone as smart and strong as Haze. We are all very worried about her well-being and we will continue to do everything we can to help her and her family,” John Micklethwait, editor-in-chief of Bloomberg News, said in a statement. “Haze is much missed in our newsroom -- both as a colleague and as a friend,” he said.
Chinese authorities have said in the past that the case against Fan is ongoing and that her “legitimate rights and interests are fully guaranteed.” Chinese law allows authorities to extend investigations on national security issues for prolonged periods.
Fan, a Chinese citizen, joined Bloomberg in early 2017 and previously worked for outlets including CNBC, Al Jazeera, CBS and Reuters in Beijing. Chinese nationals can work only as news assistants for foreign media in China and are not allowed to do independent reporting.
The ability of journalists to report in China has become increasingly restricted in recent years, a trend exacerbated by the pandemic. Forty-seven journalists were held in jail in China last year, according to data from U.S. advocacy group Committee to Protect Journalists, placing it at the top of CPJ’s ranking of countries with journalists in jail for the second year in a row.
Attacks on press freedom have increased around the world, prompting the Nobel Peace Prize Committee to honor two journalists this year: Maria Ressa, chief executive officer of Philippine investigate media outlet Rappler, and Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Russia’s independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta. The U.S. National Press Club gave Fan this year’s John Aubuchon Press Freedom Award, alongside Frontier Myanmar’s Danny Fenster, a U.S. citizen, who at the time was held in a Myanmar prison.
While local journalists have borne the brunt of the clampdown in China, foreign reporters have also been caught up as relations between China and the West have become increasingly tense. Earlier this year, John Sudworth, a British Broadcasting Corp. China correspondent, left Beijing for Taipei after intense criticism of the BBC’s coverage by the Chinese government and social media. Cheng Lei, an Australian journalist who worked for Chinese broadcaster CGTN, has been detained for more than a year.
U.S. and Chinese journalists also got caught in a visa tit-for-tat fight between Chinese authorities and the Trump administration that led to expulsions on both sides. That situation has recently eased with the U.S. and China agreeing to restart issuing a limited number of new visas for their journalists.